The Midem Classical Awards were presented at a gala event in Cannes last night and were broadcast live from the Palais des Féstivals by radio stations in France, Luxembourg, Russia and Poland.
The Canadian mezzo Marie-Nicole Lemieux and Gramophone's editor-in-chief James Jolly hosted the event which featured live music played by Sinfonietta Cracovia conducted by John Axelrod. Joining the orchestra were singers Christian Gerhaher and Elina Garanca.
The King’s Singers performed, as did the young Polish-Canadian Jan Lisiecki who played Chopin’s First Piano Concerto to mark the composer’s 200th birthday year. Two special awards were made this year for Chopin Year – one for a new recording of his music which went to Nikolai Demidenko’s Onyx Classics disc of the 24 Preludes and the Third Piano Sonata; and the other for the Best Ever recording of Chopin’s music which went to Dinu Lipatti’s classic 1950 EMI disc of the Waltzes.
The Italian soprano Mirella Freni received the MCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the two Singer of the Year Awards went to Christian Gerhaher and Elina Garanca. The pianist Angela Hewitt was named Artist of the Year. Naïve Classique was named Label of the Year and classicsonline.com received the Download Award. The Outstanding Young Artist Award went to the Spanish clarinettist José Franch Ballester who played Debussy’s Première Rapsodie.
The jury, which comprises magazines (including Gramophone), radio stations and arts managers, voted on hundreds of recordings to produce this list of disc award-winners:
CHORAL WORKS & RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Zimmermann Requiem for a Young Poet
Claudia Barainsky; David Pittman-Jennings; Lutz Lansemann; Michael Rotschopf; Jan Hage; João Rafael (Live Electronics); Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno; Slovac Philharmonic Choir; EuropaChorAkademie; Eric Vloeimans Quintet; Holland Symfonia / Bernhard Kontarsky
Montserrat Figueras; La Capella Reial de Catalunya; Al-Darwish; Hespèrion XXI / Jordi Savall
Birgitte Christensen; Lydia Teuscher; Marie-Claude Chappuis; Daniel Behle; Donát Havár; Johannes Weisser; RIAS Kammerchor; Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin / René Jacobs
Handel “Between Heaven and Earth”
Sandrine Piau; Accademia Bizantina; Stefano Montanari
Shostakovich The Nose
Vladislav Sulimsky; Alexei Tanovitski; Tatiana Kravtsova; Andrei Popov; Sergei Semishkur; Mariinsky Orchestra and Chorus / Valery Gergiev
Paganini 24 Capricci
(ECM New Series)
Debussy. Fauré. Ravel String Quartets
Beethoven Piano Concertos WoO4 & No 2
Ronald Brautigam; Norrköping Symphony Orchestra / Andrew Parrott
Mahler Symphony No 9
Bamberger SO / Jonathan Nott
Messiaen The Works for Orchestra
Roger Muraro; Yvonne Naef; Europa Chor Akademie; SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg / Sylvain Cambreling
Friedrich Gulda “The Early Recordings”
”The King's Singers Live at the BBC Proms”
DVD (OPERA / BALLET)
Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin
Mariusz Kwiecien; Tatiana Monogarova; Margarita Mamsirova; Andrey Dunaev; Anatolij Kotscherga; The Bolshoi Theatre Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra / Dmitri Tcherniakov; Chloé Perlemutter; Alexander Vedernikov
(Bel Air Classiques)
“Sergiu Celibidache: You don't do anything - You let it evolve”
A film by Jan Schmidt-Garre